(i.m. Maui Dalvanius Prime, 1948-2002)

Dalvanius dies. At least it's made
the news. 'He was a Maori joker

wasn't he?' a man says reading aloud.
I think back to the '80s. Where was

I when the Patea Maori Club topped
the charts? Somewhere near Hawera

I think, visiting my Great Aunt, or in
Stratford on a trip, moving down those

long wide streets of dairy town,
working class New Zealand, and unaware

of the frigid existence of many.
Now, older, it comes back in the form

of Dalvanius's corpse. The last of '80s
Kiwiana perhaps. Another icon

dipping down like the cattle flung dung
or that typically local tele-setting country sun.

Poem © Mark Pirie, 2002